Urban Centers, Russian WWII Maps, Dadaism, More: Wednesday Buzz, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day. Have I told you lately that I love you?


EU Science Hub: World’s biggest city database shines light on our increasingly urbanised planet. “The JRC [Joint Research Centre] has launched a new tool with data on all 10,000 urban centres scattered across the globe. It is the largest and most comprehensive database on cities ever published.”

A tip o’ the nib to The Map Room. for this pointer from Indiana University Bloomington: Digitizing captured Russian Military maps. “Thanks to cataloging exchange arrangement with the Library of Congress, Indiana University holds 4,000 topographic maps, largely produced by the Soviet military, and captured during World War II. Now a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources will exponentially increase access and exposure to interested international audiences.” Over 1000 maps are already available.

New-to-me, from the University of Iowa: Digital treasure trove: UI makes avant-garde works accessible to the world. “Even before the International Dada Archive was established, the UI’s holdings in the field were extensive, and the collection has since grown to include about 75,000 objects such as books, articles, magazines, broadsheets, drawings and sketchbooks, diaries, invitations, video recordings, and sound recordings….Today, these works are able to travel farther and reach more viewers than their artists likely ever imagined, thanks to efforts that began in the late 1990s to digitize the collection. The Digital Dada Library provides links to scanned pages of original Dada-era publications, including books, pamphlets, broadsides, and periodicals.”

National Institutes of Health: NIH releases first dataset from unprecedented study of adolescent brain development. “The National Institutes of Health Tuesday released to the scientific community an unparalleled dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. To date, more than 7,500 youth and their families have been recruited for the study, well over half the participant goal. Approximately 30 terabytes of data (about three times the size of the Library of Congress collection), obtained from the first 4,500 participants, will be available to scientists worldwide to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.”


Daily Dot: Facebook just made it really easy to post customized listicles. “Facebook is adding a new status update feature called Lists, its latest attempt to spark meaningful conversations among friends. The tool, which starts rolling out Tuesday, lets users create customized lists and post them to their News Feed. Of course, you could always manually create lists, but this new tool packages your opinions up in one tidy colorful graphic. The first major update of its kind in over a year, Lists comes as Facebook tries to get more people to share personal content instead of viral videos and news article.”

CNET: Google launches its own version of Snapchat Stories. “Similar to Snapchat’s Stories or YouTube’s Reels, Google’s AMP stories are optimized for mobile viewing, as they condense text to a series of interactive, animated images and videos. It’s an evolution of AMP, the search giant’s format for publishers to quickly deliver easy-to-read articles direct from search results, allowing you to quickly pull up a story on your phone.”


Noupe: Presentation Design: Ludus Makes You Forget About Powerpoint. “The young web app Ludus brings back the fun to presentation design, and the fun of consuming it. Not only designers should definitely take a closer look at the tool.”

Social Media Examiner: How to Use Instagram Hashtags for More Exposure. “Do you need to up your hashtag game on Instagram? Looking for tips to use Instagram hashtags more effectively? In this article, you’ll learn three ways to use hashtags on Instagram to achieve your marketing goals.”


Iowa State University: Database will help build foundation for steganalysis of forensic evidence. “There is nothing striking or remarkable about the tens of thousands of pictures an Iowa State University research team has spent the past 18 months collecting for a new database. Jennifer Newman, an associate professor of math leading the team on behalf of the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence based at Iowa State, says they are not interested in aesthetics or photos worthy of framing. In fact, the dimly lit and overexposed pictures make the database valuable for researchers interested in steganalysis.”

Techdirt: Verizon-Owned Tumblr Joins The Latest Effort To Restore Net Neutrality. “[David] Karp resigned from the company last year, and numerous reports have indicated that while net neutrality advocacy remains strong among employees, the company itself has unsurprisingly lowered the volume of its support for net neutrality under new ownership by Verizon. That has resulted in a slow but steady departure of employees not thrilled to be under the ‘leadership’ of one of the most anti-competitive (and occasionally comically delusional) companies on the tech policy front (former in-house counsel Ari Shahdadi being of particular note).”


Krebs on Security: Microsoft Patch Tuesday, February 2018 Edition. “Microsoft today released a bevy of security updates to tackle more than 50 serious weaknesses in Windows, Internet Explorer/Edge, Microsoft Office and Adobe Flash Player, among other products. A good number of the patches issued today ship with Microsoft’s ‘critical’ rating, meaning the problems they fix could be exploited remotely by miscreants or malware to seize complete control over vulnerable systems — with little or no help from users.”


Lauren Weinstein: How to “Bribe” Our Way to Better Account Security. “It’s time to face the facts. Trying to ‘scare’ users into adopting 2sv has been an utter failure. Maybe we need to consider another approach — the carrot rather than the stick. What can we do to make 2sv usage desirable, cool, even fun?” Good morning, Internet…

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